clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

HOOSIER BASEBALL: MIDSEASON REPORT CARD

New, comment

After a couple months of ups and downs, the Hoosiers find themselves 17-8 (1-4, Big Ten) and facing an uphill fight to find their way back into the Big Ten race. With 28 games now remaining, the season will be halfway over on Saturday afternoon after the Top of the 5th ends. So, today is as good of a time as any to publish a midseason report card.

@OurIndianaPix

There were several ways that this report card could have been put together: It could have been an offensive grade, a defensive grade, a pitching grade, etc. But our readers deserve a better breakdown than that. So, instead, we'll grade all position players who have registered at least of 25 at-bats and all pitchers who have stepped on the rubber.

POSITION PLAYERS (offensive stats) (defensive stats)

Casey Rodrigue (109 AB, .275, 21 R, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 10 BB) (39 PO, 77 assists, 2 errors, .983 FLD%)

  • Rodrigue has been fantastic when it comes to driving in runs when the bottom of the lineup gets on base. Early in the season, he seemed to come up clutch whenever the Hoosiers needed it, starting with his game-winning home run at Stanford. But recently, he's struggled to get on base from the leadoff spot, a problem that has contributed to Indiana's recent offensive struggles. Defensively, he's been good and made a few really big plays (cutting down a go-ahead run against Fullerton, turning a huge double play against Kentucky, etc.) with just a couple mistakes. Offense: B, Defense: A-

Brad Hartong (101 AB, .257, 15 R, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 5 BB) (191 PO, 24 assists, 4 errors, .982 FLD%)

  • Hartong has been pretty mediocre at the plate this season. He's got an average average and hasn't shown a lot of patience at the plate. But timeliness has been big. On more than one occasion this season, he's come up with a huge hit, including with his go-ahead home run in the 8th at Kentucky on Tuesday. But Hartong isn't in the lineup everyday for his bat. He's there because he's a man behind the plate. He's been awfully solid defensively except for a problem sailing the ball into the outfield when throwing to second. He's had four errors, but if runners had taken a chance to run when throws have gotten away, that number could probably be doubled. Offense: B-, Defense: B

Craig Dedelow (100 AB, .330, 14 R, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 10 BB) (162 PO, 7 assists, 5 errors, .971 FLD%)

  • Dedelow has been Indiana's best and most consistent offensive player. A mix of power and speed has produced an array of extra base hits, and it seems like most of Indiana's rallies involve a big Dedelow hit. Defensively, he hasn't been as bad as 5 errors or .971 suggest. He's made some tremendous plays at first and a couple of his errors might have been bad calls by the official scorer. Offense: A, Defense: B

Scott Donley (97 AB, .320, 16 R, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 9 BB) (6PO, 0 assists, 0 errors, 1.000 FLD%)

  • Since Donley doesn't play much defense (that's not a rip, he literally doesn't play in the field very often), his defensive grade is all it can be: incomplete. I wish I could give his offensive grade two different letters. (I mean, I could since nobody is telling me how to do this, but anyway...) I wish that because his first half didn't impress. But lately, he's been more of what we thought he'd be at the beginning of the season. Given his nice career, I'll give him the letter grade from the second half. Offense: B+, Defense: Inc.

Logan Sowers (90 AB, .278, 13 R, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 9 BB) (34 PO, 2 assists, 1 error, .973 FLD%)

  • This kid. There are times when 2014's Mr. Baseball (IN) looks like a freshman. His at-bats against Fullerton's Thomas Eshelman come to mind. But then there are times when he looks like the next Kyle Schwarber. In reality, he's somewhere in between. But the sky is the limit for this dude, who has had a very good first half during which he showed more patience with the bat than he gets credit for, a nice display of power, and a strong arm that makes runners think twice about looking for an extra base. Offense: B+, Defense: B+

Will Nolden (81 AB, .259, 13 R, 0 HR, 10 RBI, 10 BB) (46 PO, 2 assists, 2 errors, .960 FLD%)

  • Will Nolden is difficult to figure out. Offensively, nothing jumps out at you number-wise and he's a bit of an afterthought for most fans. But for some reason, when he comes to the plate in a big situation, I feel comfortable having this guy in the box. The numbers, though, don't necessarily warrant that kind of confidence. Defensively, he goes about his business and provides solid service for Lemonis anytime he's out there. Offense: C+, Defense: B

Austin Cangelosi (77 AB, .312, 13 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB) (99 PO, 24 assists, 4 errors, .969 FLD%)

  • I'M A SCATMAN! Cangelosi has been terrific offensively. He's had more consistent power than anyone on the roster, and has produced numbers similar to those of Dedelow, Hartong, and Donley with 25% less at-bats. Defensively, he could be better, especially when he's at 3B. (But so could everyone on the team who plays at third.) But he makes up for it with a quick glove at first. Offense: A, Defense: B, Walk-Up Music: A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Isaiah Pasteur (54 AB, .259, 11 R, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 9 BB) (11 PO, 27 assists, 7 errors, .844 FLD%)

  • Pasteur has been little more than OK at the plate. Both of his home runs, two of his runs, and three of his RBIs all came in the same contest against Louisville. And defensively, he's been a little worse than OK. He's been part of the nightmare that is the Hoosier hot corner, but when he's been a shortstop, it's been alright. Offense: C+, Defense: C

Nick Ramos (49 AB, .245, 7 R, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 5 BB) (14 PO, 40 assists, 7 errors, .885 FLD%)

  • Ramos hasn't played since the two-game set with Eastern Michigan. Lemonis said he injured his hand during practice right before the Fullerton series. His grades wouldn't be great anyway, so we'll cut him a break. Offense: Inc., Defense: Inc.

Brian Wilhite (37 AB, .243, 5 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI) (7 PO, 30 assists, 3 errors, .925 FLD%)

  • Wilhite's season started poorly with an error to end the 3rd game at Stanford. Sometime over the week or two after that, I was harsh on his defense on Twitter. He favorited one of those tweets. To my knowledge, he hasn't committed an error since. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MAKE THE TEAM BETTER TODAY? But seriously, his defense has been great of late, and I especially enjoyed his work at shortstop. Offensively, he's a work in progress. But he's been injured too, so we'll see what happens when he get fully healthy. Offense: Inc., Defense: B+

PITCHERS (in order of IP)

Christian Morris (2-0, 32.2 IP, 6.34 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 5.87 K/9)

  • There is no player on the roster who has been healthy all season who has disappointed more than Morris. He was one out away in his start at Stanford from two quality starts (6 IP, no more than 3 ER) in his first three outings. But since his win at the College of Charleston, Morris hasn't been anything close to good. Even against Dartmouth, where he recorded his second win, he gave up six runs in five innings. In his last three starts, his best effort was against Cal State Fullerton when he gave up eight hits and four runs in five innings. His other two most recent starts? He threw a combined five innings, gave up 12 hits and nine runs. He gets a little bump in his grade for being 2-0, but in all reality, he probably should be 1-3. Grade: D+

Jake Kelzer (1-1, 28.0 IP, 2.89 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 6.75 K/9)

  • It took Kelzer about a month to get it going this season. Against Ball State, he had Indiana's best individual performance of the year, allowing just one hit in seven innings. He's had one other quality start, at Iowa. The numbers aren't bad, but he hasn't shown up for the big game. He was just OK at Stanford and got bailed out by the offense against Fullerton. He's held it together better than Morris, but does that really tell us anything? Pitching: C+

Thomas Belcher (2-0, 26.0 IP, 0.69 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 9.35 K/9)

  • Belcher has the best ERA in the Big Ten. He comes up big every time he's thrown into a tough situation. He is the closest thing to a sure thing that the Hoosiers have. His big, sweeping breaking stuff makes right-handed hitters think twice about stepping in the box and makes left-handers' trips to the box a complete waste of time. You would be hard pressed to find any pitcher in the conference, and more than three or four in the country, who have been better thus far. Pitching: A+

Scott Effross (2-3, 24.0 IP, 4.12 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 7.50 K/9)

  • Effross missed starts on three consecutive weekends, but still has made six starts (second only to Morris.) He's had some outstanding efforts, including the season opener at Stanford. To be honest, without going back through the schedule, I couldn't remember where he picked up the two losses other than his disaster at Iowa last weekend. But, I also couldn't remember where the win is. It's been a bit of a forgettable season with numbers that are shaky at best. Pitching: C+

Evan Bell (2-1, 23.2 IP, 3.04 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 5.43 K/9)

  • To me, Bell is going to be the most important pitcher on the staff when we get to the end of the season. He's great in long relief and can make a spot start when needed. You have to have one or both of those things when you get in tournament play. And he's been solid in both roles. You'd like to see him keep more guys off base, but to complain about his season is nitpicking. Pitching: B+

Caleb Baragar (0-1, 22.2 IP, 0.79 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 9.73 K/9)

  • It is an absolute shame that Baragar doesn't have a win yet. He's been Indiana's best starter far and away. He's been good enough that Lemonis named him the Friday starter at Iowa. His stuff is nasty, and when he gets ahead in the count, the at-bat is over. It would be wonderful to see him get a start in warm weather where the offense actually scores some runs. I'm not holding the record against him. The other numbers are too good. Pitching: A

Luke Harrison (3-0, 3 Saves, 21.2 IP, 0.83 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 10.61 K/9)

  • Luke Harrison has just been the second best reliever on the team. But he may also be the second best reliever in the conference. He's been brilliant in close games, thus the three wins and three saves. And he's striking everyone out. If you follow the Hoosiers closely, you know that it's pretty comforting to see him walk out of the bullpen and there may be no higher compliment you can pay a reliever. Pitching: A

Ryan Halstead (0-1, 5 Saves, 15.1 IP, 4.11 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 8.94 K/9)

  • Halstead is a microcosm of Indiana's season of ups and downs. Sometimes he's brilliant. Sometimes he struggles. You have to give him the benefit of the doubt for the early season struggles, with him still fighting back from injury. But he just hasn't been himself. Pitching: B-

Brian Hobbie (3-1, 14.0 IP, 3.21 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 10.29 K/9)

  • I would've sworn that he's thrown more than 14.0 IP, but apparently not. This freshman made one good start and has been decent in relief. I'd like to see him get another start, preferably in place of Morris. His numbers speak volumes for why he deserves it. Pitching: B

Austin Foote (1-0, 9.0 IP, 4.00 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 16.00 K/9)

  • If I recall correctly, six of Foote's nine innings have been pretty good. But three have been no bueno. He strikes out a ton of batters, but for whatever reason, he just doesn't have it going some days. And when it's not going, it's bad. Pitching: B-

Will Coursen-Carr (0-0, 3.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2.19 WHIP, 11.25 K/9)

  • Coursen-Carr hasn't been given as much opportunity as I would advocate he deserves. He's been good when he's out there, but we haven't been afforded a chance to really see if he's bounced back from last year's struggles. Pitching: Inc.

Kent Williams (1-0, 3.0 IP, 9.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 6.00 K/9)

  • The sample size is too small. Pitching: Inc.

Kyle Hart (0-0, 2.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9.00 K/9)

  • Lemonis says Hart still isn't ready to make a full start, but we can probably expect to see him make a short start like he did against Eastern Michigan sometime pretty soon. But until he makes a few of those, there's no way to grade him. Pitching: Inc.

MANAGER CHRIS LEMONIS

  • I think Lemonis pulls the right strings at the right time as often as you could expect from a first year manager. The question facing anyone who is grading his first half season at the helm is how do you reconcile the outstanding record against top competition with the letdowns against bad teams? Two months ago, we all probably would've taken 17-8 after 25 games. But if I told you Indiana would take two of three from Stanford, split with the College of Charleston, and sweep Fullerton, you would have said the Hoosiers would be at least 20-5. We'll see if Lemonis gets this club to play better against bad teams as the season goes on, but for now, that's the hangup that keeps me from giving him a really high grade. Grade: B